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Te Mahere Kāinga Koiora - Habitat Mapping Module

This Habitat Mapping module will show you how to collect useful information to describe and monitor habitats in estuaries.

Habitat mapping is an important part of understanding your estuary. It provides the necessary context or 'big picture' for the environmental changes that you may observe at a particular location. For example, how much of the estuary is covered by mudflats, sandflats and saltmarshes, and where are each of these habitats located in relation to each other?

An accurate habitat map will also enable you to identify habitat changes that may occur in the future, such as increases in mudflat habitat due to mud depositing on sandflats. This type of habitat change may also have flow-on effects, such as colonisation of mudflats by saltmarsh and/or mangrove forests. Habitat changes in estuaries can occur naturally or by the activities of people on the land or in the estuaries themselves. Therefore, an important part of developing an Estuary Monitoring Action Plan (E-MAP) for your estuary is to undertake a baseline habitat mapping survey at an early stage. This baseline habitat map provides the 'yardstick', or standard, which you will use to detect habitat changes that occur in the future. The habitat map includes information on the locations and sizes of each habitat type, which may include: sandflats, mudflats, tidal channels, shellfish beds, saltmarsh, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests.

Before using the tools described in the Habitat module please read the safety information in the Getting started section of the website.

Habitat mapping. Download entire module [2MB PDF]
Research subject: Coasts